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Student Legal Aid


What We Do and Don’t Do

Some of the information here may answer questions you have 24/7.  However, this general legal information is no substitute for personal legal advice, so feel free to contact us to schedule an appointment during our office hours, 8-5. Your lawyer, Karl Rysted, will spend up to an hour with you free because you’ve already paid for his services through your student fees, assuming you’re an NMSU student here on the Las Cruces campus.  Unfortunately, DACC & BCOM students are not eligible for Student Legal Aid.  Student Legal Aid is a service of the NMSU student government, ASNMSU.

Mr. Rysted is licensed in Oklahoma and New Mexico and has 27 years of experience settling cases and in litigation, particularly in family law (divorce, custody and domestic violence) and cases involving debts. In April, 2016, he was elected to the American Bar Foundation Fellows.  Membership in the Fellows is limited to 1% of lawyers licensed in each jurisdiction.

He cannot provide advice in matters where your problem is with NMSU, ASNMSU or any official or representative thereof because under the New Mexico Rules of Professional Conduct for lawyers, a lawyer employed by an organization represents the organization, so that would be a conflict of interest. He may provide general guidance to individual students relating to NMSU or ASNMSU policies and/or procedures. For example, you should be aware of the consequences of your behavior, not only in the legal system, but here at NMSU.  You should review the Student Social Code of Conduct found here.

The Student Legal Aid Office provides consultation, advice, referral and other services regarding most but not all matters, including but not limited to: potential or pending legal actions (unless you already have an attorney), referral to the proper state consumer protection agency, review of court papers, other documents and providing court-approved forms.   We cannot provide advice in certain specialized areas such as taxes, immigration/visas, and intellectual property law.  Ordinarily, Mr. Rysted will not represent you in court, as this would limit his time in the office and his ability to help other students. Moreover, students can often handle the legal matter themselves after they have been fully advised. For students needing intensive attorney representation in court or otherwise, Mr. Rysted will help the student understand the legal issues and prepare the student to best select and hire an outside attorney, and some of them provide discounts for students. Mr. Rysted does retain the discretion to provide court representation in rare instances, taking into account 1) the special needs of the particular student and 2) how broadly a successful outcome might positively impact the whole student body.

Need help with taxes?

Community Action Agency of Southern New Mexico provides assistance every year February through April for filing your taxes.  They are located at 3880 Foothills Road, Suite A here in Las Cruces.  Check back at that time for more info.


If you need your signature witnessed by a Notary Public, here are Notaries on campus.

Intake form

We need to know the reason for your appointment before you come in, so please download the Intake Sheet. Print and complete it, then either bring it by when you’re in Corbett or take a picture of it and email to us.  Everything you tell us is confidential so it’s important to be completely honest and give us as much information as possible. Thanks.

“We educated, privileged lawyers have a professional and moral duty to represent the underrepresented in our society, to ensure that justice exists for all, both legal and economic justice.” – Sonia Sotomayor